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Mailbag! Week Ten in the Big Ten

Wherein we answer questions half-heartedly.

This costume is terrible. Happy Day After Halloween.

Did you all have a nice Halloween? I went as a “Murdering Millennial,” and I am not ashamed to say that it was brilliant and well-executed. I got asked for my phone number once, and asked to explain my costume many times. Woo Halloween!

Anyway, here to explain a variety of things to you is... us! What a lucky bunch of readers you are.

Now that tOSU has shown their weaknesses, what do think Nebby’s chances are of pulling the upset? OR version 2.0 of this question: “Given some of the improvement NE has shown so far, and some of the weakness that tOSU has shown, what do you believe are Nebraska’s chances to remain competitive on Sat?” -- Husker_Stuck_in_NC

Candystripes: I’ll level with you: they aren’t 0%, but they also probably aren’t 25% either.

Boilerman31: I mean, you’re never out of it. That’s why they play the game. That said, “Grr, Brutus angry. Brutus demand human sacrifice.”

Beez: I think they can remain competitive for a while, but I think OSU has the team speed on defense to actually make things slightly difficult for Martinez, Spielman, and Morgan.

Townie: Zero.

WSR: About 1%

BRT: 1-2% probably. There’s always the chance the entire Buckeye team gets influenza or has collective amnesia about how to play football or something. I am hopeful that we can score a few times this year, but unfortunately, our defense and their offensive abilities are not a promising combination.

What the hell universe are we living in, and how much longer am I going to be able to enjoy it?

Remaining B1G schedules of the West contenders:

5-1 Northwestern: @Iowa, @Minnesota, Illinois (has HTH tiebreaker over Wisconsin & Purdue)

3-2 Wisconsin: Rutgers, @Penn State, @Purdue, Minnesota (has HTH tiebreaker over Iowa)

3-2 Iowa: @Purdue, Northwestern, @Illinois, Nebraska

3-2 Purdue: Iowa, @Minnesota, Wisconsin, @Indiana

And what would be the most hilarious way for each remaining West contender to fuck it up?

-- vaudvillain

Boilerman31: It’s not the Darkest Timeline, but it ain’t the Brightest either. Most hilarious depends upon your viewpoint. All four teams have winnable and loseable games. The most hilarious way would be for a 4-way tie with multiple tiebreakers and the CCG rep being chosen by Paper/Rock/Scissors.

Thumpasaurus: Nothing would be funnier than each of those teams getting the maximum possible remaining losses and Illinois winning out.

Beez: The correct answer involves Illinois winning its games, Rutgers winning a game, Northwestern losing out, and Purdue finishing 0-2, and Nebraska beating Iowa to backdoor Wisconsin into the CCG

Townie: I’m sure that, no matter what wacky thing I come up with, the West teams will be like, “hold my beer…”

BRT: I’m firmly on Team Chaos this season, but of the teams listed (since I guess Nebraska is out of this mix, probably mathematically, definitely realistically), I’d most like to see Northwestern or Purdue make the CCG. I’d most like to see a scenario though, where Iowa thinks they’re going right up until they lose to Nebraska the final week of the season. Heh.

FMK with your co-writers

Fumble – Who drops the easy assignment, making you pick it up to save the day?

Merge – Who’s team could you live with joining yours because both teams will benefit in the end?

Kicker – Who you going to for the winning FG?


Boilerman31: Fumble: Not even touching that. Merge: Going with AK. Sparty’s defense, Purdue’s offense? We might be able to hang with Alabama...for a quarter. Kicker: I’m going with Thump and telling him the football is Illinois’ Athletic Director.

Beez: Let’s clear a couple things up: There are no easy assignments, I don’t understand what the second question is asking, and I trust only myself when the game is on the line.

Townie: F: Speth. M: BRT because she’d hate it sooo much. And I like Scott Frost. K: Gotta be Mr. Thesis Avoidance Behavior...MN Wildcat.

BRT: F: Probably the guy who is still working on the rec script. ;) M: Really any team that isn’t Maryland, Rutgers, Illinois, Indiana, or Minnesota. K: Me. My legs are like four feet long--I’m an excellent kicker.

WSR: F: Speth. I didn’t write multiple wisconsin articles last year because I like the badgers. M: Nobody. I don’t help from any of those clowns. But if I have to, GF3 and tOSU. He’s got a team with tons of talent, I’ve got a coaching staff that can get buy-in. And I bet he’s a great cuddler. K: Other than me? Probably MNW because he played a kicky sport and might know what to do.

Is this the year we get a 2 loss national champion?—MH19

Candystripes: Unless Bama gets 2, the answer is no.

Boilerman31: No.

Beez: Nah.

Townie: Nope. Neither Bama nor Clemson will have 2 losses.

WSR: Is the Championship determined by a best-of-seven series? No? Then there’s your answer.

After the Ashes of this year are swept away, how awesome would it be for Rutgers to go full Arby’s and hire a Triple-option/Flexbone coach from one of the Service Academies or Georgia Southern?

Follow-up: What part of playing a triple option team every year would you hate the worst?--PJO14

Candystripes: Very; falling on our faces while somehow losing to them way too often.

Boilerman31: I’m sorry, who are you talking about?

Beez: Rutgers should absolutely adopt the Georgia Tech approach, hire a gimmicky-ass offensive mind, and put together a functioning team that can win games after the better programs have picked apart its recruiting base year after year.

Townie: Rutgers would actually benefit from that kind of schtick. The worst part of that is when they get a couple of fast kids, a la Oklahoma with Jamelle Holieway, and suddenly they are a beast:

WSR: You know what? I’m all for this! If the impending divorce of Georgia Tech and Paul Johnson occurs, Rutgers should immediately swoop in and hire him. It might make Rutgers endearing to me for the very first time in the B1G.

Since OSU already has the transitive win over Nebraska (lol Oregon St over Colorado – htf did that happen?) do we really need to play the game Saturday? --bucksfan92

Boilerman31: For gambling purposes, yes.

Beez: I have some fantasy players involved in that game, and I need to keep my 1-year streak of winning the OTE FS college fantasy league going, so please play the game. Also, Ohio State most recently lost a game to Purdue, so maybe pump the brakes on assuming OSU is just going to win all the time?

BRT: I think they have to play, but I don’t have to watch.

Rank the following social media

  • Snapchat
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace


Candystripes: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, OTE, MySpace

Beez: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest. I wanted to make an acronym out of the letters of each, but the best I can come up with is “FIST PM,” which is a not that uncommon calendar entry for me, honestly.

Townie: As an old, I am only familiar with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, in that order. I was uninterested in that stuff back in the day, so I didn’t “do” MySpace.

BRT: Instagram 4 life. The rest are just details. But Pinterest (is this social media though?), FB, Snapchat, and MySpace, I guess (never used those last two). Twitter is the scum in the bottom of a trashcan. Not to get too political, but honestly, there’s a certain head of state I could live with hearing a whole lot less from, and as that’s his main platform, it gets some mega demerits. Also, people besides him are major dicks on it. Though in its defense… Faux Pelini.

WSR: Twitter, then Instagram, then just chuck the rest into the trash.

Chaos team - Maryland, Purdue, or both?

  • Maryland – beats Texas, loses to Temple, but otherwise wins/loses games they should.
  • Purdue – beats OSU, loses to EMU, but otherwise wins/loses games they should.


Candystripes: Ahem. You can’t just appropriate the #CHAOSTEAM title. We’ll give it up only when we finally beat somebody that we have no right to. Otherwise, it’s ours. #dealwithit

Beez: Maryland.

Townie: Purdue. So far they won and lost vs shocking teams (on both sides).

Dr. Pepper Fansville or Larry Culpepper? Which is best?


Boilerman31: Fire both into the sun. Drink bourbon instead.

Beez: *Better

Townie: The Larry Culpepper commercials with Flutie were hysterical…

If Northwestern beats ND, how long will they cancel the series for this time? --HistoriCat

Boilerman31: Fuck Notre Dame. Seriously though, Fuck Notre Dame.

Beez: Why would those two schools have a “series” in the first place?

WSR: Until the heat death of the universe. They’d hold a grudge for so long that you’d think it was Iowa fans complaining about Notre Dame players “fainting” in the early 1950’s.

Has a conference team in FBS ever lost all non-con games, but went to their conference championship game and won it? I could see it might have happened at some point to one of the G5 conferences…but I’d also have to believe we’d know about it already. I’m trying to decide whether Northwestern actually “accomplishes” that is a good thing, a bad thing, or The Sign of the FBS Apocalypse. -- dlrhawks

Beez: I’ll answer your question with a question: Isn’t this what Texas State (right? Or UNT or one of the Texas schools?) basically tries to do every year? Get rolled in the non-con so it “hardens” them for conference play?

Nobody has yet made fun of Northwestern’s gray and Minnesota’s charcoal uniforms, yet. Do we only make fun of gray variations when teams lose? What is the worst non-core school color combo that your team has used? --GTom

Thumpasaurus: I most certainly HAVE made fun of Northwestern’s gray, and I believe we said on the podcast that Minnesota only won because they dressed up as Purdue for Halloween. At this point, Northwestern’s school colors are gray and black, which they occasionally trim with purple and sometimes gold. At this point, Minnesota’s school colors are whatever PJ Fleck wants them to be. The reason I think Illinois’ is the worst is that they’ve never once had a trace of orange on them even though orange is the color the fans wear to the games, and that for some reason we’ve linked them to Homecoming. I was desperately hoping for Minnesota and Northwestern to lose so that I could have two more data points demonstrating the effects of gray uniforms on win expectancy.

Beez: I don’t like to make fun of uniforms because uniforms don’t have mouths or the ability to communicate so it’s not fair. I’m like the Lorax but for uniforms instead of truffula trees.

Townie: Better gray than yellow or purple.

BRT: I’m not sure we’ve used a non-core color, except maybe black at some point? My least favorite uniforms of ours though, are, of course, the surrender whites.

Minnesotans are happy about this weekend due to the Iowa and Wisconsin losses. How many years will pass before Minnesota’s football team finally manages to be directly responsible for a loss by Iowa or Wisconsin? -- Hollywood Hawk Hogan

Candystripes: Not nearly enough. (Yes, I’m still bitter.)

Beez: For either team? Two years. I don’t know what Iowa’s streak is, but Wisconsin has had some pretty good luck at times to keep the streak going.

Townie: I’m with Beez. I’ll bet two years at most.

The Lavar Leap happened 20 years ago this week (10/31/1998). That’s got to be the most incredible play ever, doesn’t it? Can you think of anything that comes anywhere even close? - WSR

Townie: That’s the one for me. It was shocking, at the time. Just awesome. Although this one was pretty good too:

WSR: This was a trick question, because the answer is no. Nothing comes close to that play, although it does look a bit like something that would be called targeting in 2018.